Having a child with a learning disability can be very challenging for any family. It’s an emotional rollercoaster for parents doing their best to advocate for their pride and joys but also for the child trying to find his/her place in the world. The cycle can become overwhelming for all parties if a defined plan is not put in place, let alone, ignored.
Following dyslexia, one of the most common learning disabilities is attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Symptoms of ADHD include trouble concentrating, paying attention, staying organized, and remembering details. These symptoms typically first appear between the ages of 3 and 6 with the average age for diagnosis at 7 years old. Research shows boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
According to the 2016 national parent survey, there was an estimated number of 6.1 million children ever diagnosed with ADHD. Of that number, 62% were taking ADHD medication for treatment. While many have found success in using a medication, not all choose to. If you have been contemplating whether you should medicate your child or not, we suggest you try these natural ADHD remedies before making any decision.
5 Ways to Help a Child With ADHD Without Using Medications
1. Adjust the Routine
Adjusting your routine may seem like it’s not that big of a deal but it makes all the difference when it comes to ADHD. It’s important to implement strict sleep schedules, diet, and structure. Organization and time management are fundamental here. Creating an iron-clad framework that consists of focus-driven activities based on your child’s needs will only further drive her development.
Is your child getting the recommended amount of sleep for her age? What about nutrition and exercise? Sugar, gluten, dairy, and food additives are all trigger foods for ADHD symptoms. Removing these and replacing them with a protein-rich diet, along with staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, keeps the brain focused and motivated. Have you tried a multivitamin? Accentrate is a nutritional supplement that is specifically formulated to address the nutritional deficiencies known to be associated with ADHD.
2. Be Proactive and Form a Support System
Understand your rights when championing your child’s education. You are not obligated to test your child or put them on medication. Prior to any meetings, be sure to read up on the school’s handbook and any other policy documents. What are the protocol around student discipline and conduct? What are the class expectations? You should have these types of questions outlined prior to school starting.
If possible, get ahead by reaching out to your child’s teacher and school administration. Research to see if a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to receive additional resources would be the best fit for him/her. Form allies early through collaboration to help streamline success from home to school and vice versa.
In addition, don’t hesitate to update family, friends, and caretakers about the system you put in place. It truly takes a village and the village surrounding your child is not excluded from the process. This means across the board, all must buy in, recognize the value of their participation, and respect any boundaries set forth.
2. Seek Tools & Resources
We know that we can’t be with our kids every minute of the day. ADHD children, especially, need that constant nudge or little reminders that assist with creating self-sufficiency. This is where the Revibe Watch steps in. You can adjust the settings to your child’s needs for vibration frequency and reminders to stay on task. It also measures their steps, focus, and attention rate, even how many times they fidget. The goal of the watch is to help those who struggle with focus to feel empowered and independent while also providing hope and support to parents and caregivers.
ADDitude Magazine is a quarterly consumer publication about attention deficit hyperactivity. It contains feature and service articles about ADD, ADHD, and learning disabilities like dyslexia. The ADDitude.com website has some absolute gems! There’s so much advice and information that ranges from all that you need to know about ADHD treatment without medication, behavior & discipline advice, school & learning essentials, organization help, and more.
3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), also known as Talk therapy, focuses on talking about problems to help frame our thoughts differently. This type of therapy can be great for kids with ADHD. There are many formats like one-on-one counseling or social skills groups that can be very beneficial to your child’s progress. Take advantage of any behavioral health counseling coverage offered by your health insurance. Most local therapists accept their state’s popular insurance carriers. Also, make sure to check with your employer’s Employee Assistance Program to inquire about free session availability.
4. Be Consistent
Finally, natural treatment for ADHD in children is not an easy feat nor will happen overnight. The keys to success are consistency and discipline with lots of encouragement. Find comfort in knowing there will be adjustments as you gauge what is working and what’s not for your child. There will be bumps in the road and setbacks. However, stay the course and you’re bound to see improvement.